Little Things Go A Long Way

Just last week I had a PERFECT online customer service experience.

In this case, the company — — was successful in both taking advantage of the power of the web, as well as in properly executing on some tried and true customer care techniques from the offline world. Together it made for an outstanding experience.

Here’s how it all started. . .

On Sunday June 25th, I ordered wireless service through the GetConnected web site ( A few days later, I realized that I had forgotten to write down the details of the $100 rebate offer that I had seen on their site.

So on Wednesday, June 28th at 8:52 P.M. I sent the following question:


There was a $100 rebate offer on your web site when I placed this order. How do I get that rebate?
Michael Katz


Perfection arrived a few minutes later. . .

Perfect Thing #1: They included the text of my original question in with their response. I send a lot of emails to a lot of web sites, and often forget the specifics of what I am asking at any given company location. Sites that neglect to include the original question make it more difficult for their customers to use the information they provide.

Perfect Thing #2: They used my name in the greeting(i.e. “Dear Mr. Katz”). This small nod to personalization goes a long way towards creating a human bond between customer and company. In the impersonal world of computer screens and digital interactions, businesses need to go the extra mile to add a personal touch, to help consumers get comfortable doing business online.

Perfect Thing #3: The email response was signed by a real person(“Jason”). Many companies — both on and offline — sign customer correspondence with phrases like, “Sincerely, The (Company-Name) Sales Team.” There’s nothing sincere about it. I want to do business with real people, not sales teams, and effective personalization requires my knowing your name, as well as you knowing mine.

Perfect Thing #4: They answered my question, specifically and succinctly. Lots of sites use computer software to generate answers to questions based on key words and category topics. Although the answer is often found somewhere in the response, what you tend to end up with is a bunch of information that more or less addresses the question. . . but not exactly. To put it another way, if I ask you if it’s raining outside, I don’t want a five day weather forecast for the Eastern Seaboard.

Perfect Thing #5: They responded in three minutes! No kidding. I got an emailed answer at 8:55 P.M., three minutes after I sent my question. With most sites still operating on a 24 hour turnaround commitment (if they have a turnaround commitment at all), that’s 480 times faster than the norm! It’s pretty hard to feel anything but warm and fuzzy about a company that turns inquiries around so quickly.


Each one of these “Perfect Things” is small in and of itself, and none of them alone is going to make or break a GetConnected customer relationship.

Taken together however, they add up to an easy, efficient, personal interaction, that leaves this customer wanting to do more business with them. Instead of viewing customer care as an expense to be minimized, it seems that the folks at GetConnected view it as a brand strengthening, loyalty building, acquisition tool.

How does your company stack up?!

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